Riding the Big Red Machine
Sai-Tsang Lee '58

An e-mail was sent requesting riders for the 'Big Bike', raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Being a supporter of this organization, even though I did not know what this 'Big Bike' was all about, I signed up.

On this beautiful morning in July I arrived at the meeting place in Queen's Park. There was already a sea of people gathered in groups, among which were the St. Markans in their colorful T- shirt, donated by our SMSAA chairperson. After a photo session, I started scouting around to observe this 'Big Bike'. It is a structure about eight feet wide by thirty feet long, painted in red, and has thirty seats with an individual handle bar in front of each. The pedals are chained together. It weighs about two thousand pounds. There is a navigator sitting in the front left corner, who gives commands and instructions.

Each rider was given a noisemaker. With a few safety instructions like turn signals, when to speed up or slow down and how to stop, we were on our way. There were two police motorcycles, one leading the way and the other behind. With the 'Big Bike' cruising at about 15 KPH, I felt like the king of the road. All traffic yielded to us. Some pedestrians stared and other applauded. It was like running the Toronto International Marathon, a very special feeling. The route, as I recall, started from behind the Parliament Building, turned east on Charles St. W., then south on Bay, west on St. Joseph and then back on Queen's Park. Within half an hour we were done.

With this team effort under the leadership of Lana we raised a total of $5,090. Jane was on top of our list with $1040. Over thirty people turned up. It was a very enjoyable outing. With a few more dollars we could have raised the most money in this event. Heart disease is a deadly one. The Heart And Stroke Foundation needs funds and support for the work they are doing. Maybe next year, we shall have enough people to ride two bikes. Come out, soak up some sun, meet people and have some fun. Like I said, it is all for the 'HEART'